Retail trade sector guidance

Sector guidance for retail stores and retail service businesses within Victoria.

Victoria to further relax COVIDSafe Settings

The Victorian Government has announced a further easing of COVIDSafe settings from 11.59pm Friday 9 April.

For more information, see the statement from the Minister for Health.


Industry Restart Guidelines

Last updated: 31 March 2021

Last updated: 1 April 2021

Industry guidelines are being updated to reflect the latest health advice. For more detail on the latest COVIDSafe Settings, please see the Minister for Health’s statement

Frequently asked questions - COVIDSafe Settings

Last updated: 7 April 2021

Read below for answers to frequently asked questions by businesses within the retail sector.

What are the current face mask requirements?

You must always carry a face mask with you when you leave home unless you have a lawful reason not to.

Face masks continue to be mandatory in some locations, unless a lawful reason not to wear one applies.

For a full list of settings where masks continue to be mandatory, see: Face masks.

Retail services

  • All retail trade businesses can open with a COVIDSafe Plan, subject to the density quotient of one person per two square metres and current face mask requirements. Record keeping of customer details is strongly recommended. 

    While record keeping is not mandatory in retail settings it is strongly recommended. Businesses can use the free Victorian Government QR Code Service or a Victorian Government API (Application Programming Interface) linked digital system

    Retail premises must display a sign at each public entrance to let customers know the maximum number of members of the public permitted in a space at a single time (as determined by the density quotient). 

  • Yes, entertainment machines in shopping centres may operate. Machines should be cleaned in between customers where possible, and high-touch surfaces must be regularly cleaned and disinfected. All queues should be managed to ensure physical distancing. Record keeping of cleaning should also be implemented using a digital or paper-based logging system.

    Entertainment machines in this context means standalone children’s rides, massage chairs, health check measuring pods, photo booths, claw machines, candy or toy dispensers, other freestanding entertainment or wellbeing machines.

    For more information including cleaning guidelines, visit Preventing infection in the workplace.

Retail stores

  • Yes. Throughout COVIDSafe Settings, there is no requirement to reduce work across multiple retail sites. However, employers should minimise any requirement for workers to move between sites where practical and should keep a record of all workers working across multiple sites, including date, time and place of attendance. 

    Every Victorian workplace must have a COVIDSafe Plan.

  • Yes. A delivery person may enter a home to deliver, install and assemble a retail purchase. The delivery driver must adhere to current face mask restrictions.

    Face masks are recommended in the home if people other than your immediate household are present. 

  • Yes. Customers may continue to use their re-usable shopping bags with appropriate hygiene, cleaning and sanitation processes in place. 

  • Yes. During COVIDSafe Settings, goods sold on Facebook Marketplace, Gumtree or other online stores can be collected in person. Use ‘click and collect’, non-contact and cashless transactions where possible for private, person-to-person purchases. Practise good hand hygiene before, during and after the transfer of goods.

    Face masks are mandatory in some settings. For more information, see Face masks

  • Yes. Market stalls can open provided they adhere to the density quotient of one person per two square metres. Performers should adhere to the guidance for performance venues detailed at Arts and entertainment sector guidance

  • Yes, electronic record keeping is mandatory for these services, and the free Victorian Government QR Code Service or a Victorian Government API (Application Programming Interface) linked digital system must be used. A 28-day compliance amnesty will be in place until 23 April 2021.

    Find out more information on the settings where electronic record keeping is required

    Find out more information on the Victorian Government API.

  • Yes, you can offer taste-testing of food and drinks, however there are steps to ensure your retail store remains COVIDSafe.

    You must ensure that:

    • workers and customers wear face masks in line with current requirements unless they have a lawful reason not to. Face masks can be removed when eating or drinking.
    • everyone adheres to density quotients of one person per two square metres
    • you clean and disinfect all surfaces after each group of patrons and immediately after a spill. Regularly clean and disinfect high-touch surfaces, including implements used for food display or serving.

    It is strongly recommended that you: 

    • encourage good hand hygiene where fresh or sample produce is available, and ensure hand sanitiser is available for patrons upon entry and exit, as well as during sampling activities
    • do not allow sharing of food and provide individual samples
    • have one person distributing sample food or drinks
    • encourage physical distancing (for example by using floor markers), and discourage crowding around food and drink samples 
    • discourage touching of fresh produce 
    • ask customers to place a bag over their hand when selecting and packing loose produce
    • have one or more COVID Marshal(s) present to ensure COVIDSafe compliance 
    • provide single-use items, such as crockery, where possible
    • provide waste disposal options for single-use items, such as crockery and left-over samples
    • consider using Perspex shields for food display and while serving 
    • keeping records of customer details, where practical, with electronic record keeping preferred. The Victorian Government QR Code Service is free and easy to use.

Reviewed 22 April 2021

Coronavirus Victoria

Coronavirus (COVID-19) business support and the Industry Coordination Centre

The Business Victoria hotline provides information on restrictions and support to help your workplace plan and respond to coronavirus (COVID-19).

Call Business Victoria on 13 22 15

Contact Business Victoria

24/7 Coronavirus Hotline

If you suspect you may have coronavirus (COVID-19) call the dedicated hotline – open 24 hours, 7 days.

Please keep Triple Zero (000) for emergencies only.

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